Glenmeadow to Host Monthly Memory Café Beginning July 25

LONGMEADOW — Glenmeadow will hold its first monthly Memory Café for people with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia and their caregivers on Wednesday, July 25 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Caregivers are invited to bring a loved one to the program to enjoy relaxed conversation with others. Light refreshments will be offered.

Future Memory Cafés at Glenmeadow, at 24 Tabor Crossing in Longmeadow, will be held at the same time on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Laura Lavoie, director of life enrichment at the life-plan community, said an organized activity — such as yoga, a drumming circle, or creating a gratitude journal — will be offered.

“The first Memory Café is a welcome and a chance for people to get to know one another,” she said.

The program is free and open to those in Greater Springfield. For more information or to RSVP, contact Lavoie at (413) 355-5905 or llavoie@glenmeadow.org.

Lavoie said Memory Cafés are offered across the globe; in this region, they are provided through many senior centers or councils on aging. She said the Glenmeadow program will not offer a support-group atmosphere, and its focus will not be on medical care. 

“It’s a place for people to go with their care partner,” she said. “It’s a place for people to enjoy themselves, reconnect in a supportive atmosphere with one another, and also meet others who are experiencing the same thing. It’s a chance for people to focus on gratitude and the positive.” 

As part of its strategic plan, Glenmeadow has enhanced its focus on dementia care. The Memory Café is one of several new programs that seek to provide resources and support for people with Alzheimer’s or another dementia and their caregivers.

The Glenmeadow’s Caregivers Support Group is offered monthly to professionals and family members who are assisting someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia. It continues in July with a meeting on July 19 from noon to 1 p.m. 

That support group is also open to the public; meetings are held at 24 Tabor Crossing on the first Tuesday and the third Thursday of each month. In August, the group will be held Aug. 7 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Aug. 16 from noon to 1 p.m. In September, meetings will be held Sept. 4 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and Sept. 21 from noon to 1 p.m.

“We have made a commitment to offering more programs that are dementia-focused,” Lavoie said. “We are trying to support people living with dementia and their families.”

Glenmeadow is also part of the Dementia Friendly Longmeadow initiative, through which varying programs are held throughout the year in Longmeadow.